Y’earn’s guide to combining breastfeeding and pumping

Here at Y’earn, we believe that fed is best. If you choose to exclusively express, then find our pick of the products you need, or get the best tips on how to combine breastfeeding and pumping!

Ah, the heady days of early motherhood: a beautiful new baby and a whole new way of life. It’s such a special time, but sleepless nights and worry can make it tricky. Another difficulty, unfortunately, comes from the general pressure which is put on new mothers by society at large. Women are expected to ‘bounce back’ and effortlessly manage this huge transition. That’s why we’ve compiled our top tips on how to combine breastfeeding and pumping, in order to help you on this journey!

Not only this, but it seems that everyone has an opinion on the way that mothers choose to raise their babies. This unsolicited advice can generate stress and even feelings of competition. Nowhere is this more evident than in the debate about feeding babies.

We are told that breastfeeding is supposed to come easily and for some women it does. Some women are able to breastfeed exclusively. For others, the practicalities of work, sleep and even the pain of nursing mean that it can prove difficult. These women may choose to move to bottle feeding, sometimes with formula and sometimes with freshly pumped breast milk, or they may find themselves asking how to combine breastfeeding and pumping?

If you choose to exclusively express, or combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding, you will need some equipment – and that’s what we are here for. We’ve researched the best bottles and pumps around to help you in your journey. Just remember that however you choose to feed your baby, fed is best. 

The best baby bottles for people who are also breastfeeding

You may not have considered baby bottles to be a major culprit when it comes to harming the environment – but sure enough, like all plastics, they contribute to waste when they’re discarded.

Aside from impacting the health of the environment, it has also been suggested that using plastic baby bottles may not be the best choice for your baby, as chemicals from the plastics supposedly find their way into the bottle’s contents, especially when heated or shaken.

Nowadays, many people are switching to bottles made from alternative materials, such as glass or metal.

Glass bottles are said to be a better solution for a myriad of reasons. For example:

  • They contain no harmful chemicals that could leach into the milk.
  • They’re easier to clean as they don’t hold onto smells.
  • They aren’t able to develop scratches in the same way that plastic can, which could act as space for bacteria to grow.
  • You can sterilise a glass bottle at higher temperatures than plastic.
  • The milk will taste better as it won’t ever adopt a plasticky taste.
  • Most glass bottles are compatible with breast pumps, so you won’t need to buy a new one.
  • Glass bottles last ages and ages, meaning you won’t have to replace them.

When choosing a bottle for your baby, look out for a teat which is ‘nipple-shaped’ and consider the flow action. If the bottle can somewhat emulate the feeling of breastfeeding, there’s less chance your baby will get confused if you’re looking to combine breastfeeding and pumping. Of course, we’ve also gone for the most eco-friendly options too.

We are big fans of these baby bottles because of their petal design and their brilliant anti-colic system. They’re also BPA-free and the glass bottle is practical for both feeding and sterilisation. No nasty plastics and a brand name we know and trust? Yes please.

If you’re looking for a completely plastic-free option, Pura has the answer. The infant bottle is great for babies who are being both breast and bottle fed. Our favourite part? It’s possible to just switch the lids all the way up to a sippy cup rather than buying a new bottle each time. You can’t get much more sustainable than that.

Breast pumps: the low down

There are so many different types of breast pumps out there. Knowing what to choose can be overwhelming sometimes, especially if you’re wondering how to combine breastfeeding and pumping. Some are great for when you’re on the move, some have brilliant suction. Some are even completely hands free! 

Generally speaking, breast pumps are either manual (meaning you do it yourself) or electric. If you choose an electric pump, you can choose to get a single or double breast pump. Do what works for you. These are our favourites, which have also passed the eco-friendly test:

As electric breast pumps go, they don’t get much better than this. The Medela pump is portable and easy to use – and can even be connected to an app for pump tracking. So hi-tech! Best of all? It’s powered by a rechargeable battery, meaning you can take it with you anywhere, without running through hundreds of batteries. 

We love the design of the Haakaa – how cute is the little flower? Much more than that though, it’s practical. It can be used manually, or even with suction, depending on your needs. In terms of sustainability, it’s free from plastic nasties like BPA and it’s great at leak prevention. Top marks from us!

How to combine breastfeeding and pumping

When you’re breastfeeding and bottle feeding at the same time, there are a few steps that you can take to make life easier. 

  • Get your partner involved: If you feed your baby with a bottle, but they’re used to being breastfed by you, they may well get confused. Bottle feeding is a great time for your partner to bond with your baby. You might even get five minutes to put your feet up!
  • Warm up the milk: Consider carefully warming up the milk so that it is a similar temperature to milk straight from the breast. Yum!
  • Stay calm: Make sure you have plenty of time available to help your baby adapt to the bottle. Perhaps the 3am feed is not the best time to start. Relax and your baby will relax too. 

Whatever bottles and breast pump you choose, it’s clear that your baby won’t need them for all that long. They’re pricey too. Instead of buying, why not rent one of our Bundles? We’ve got a range of breast pumps, sterilisers and formula prep machines to help you however you decide to feed your baby. We’ve also compiled our top tips for travelling with little ones in tow, because we think you should spend more time and money creating memories than shopping and disposing of items you only need for a short while. The planet will thank you too! #MoreLoveLessWaste

If you’re interested in more tips to improve your child’s wellbeing, why not head over to our post focusing on the best ways to improve your child’s mental health? If it’s more sustainable living tips that you’re after then we’ve also got you covered! Whether you want know about the impact of your carbon footprint and how to offset it or you’re eager to make changes around your home, such as opting for sustainable food brands or using eco-friendly cleaning products, we’ve done all the research so you don’t have to!

Mother using breast pump to get breast milk to feed baby

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If this is your first visit, hello, let us introduce ourselves. We’re Y’earn and we exist to create more love, less landfill. Pretty lofty, right? Well, not really, it’s actually pretty simple. Our aim is to make renting as common as owning so we live more sustainably while helping the community around us.

Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people in your community or make some cash if you have items you don’t need right now. We’re a sustainable business that plants 🌲, adopts 🐝 and donates to children’s charities.  We’re helping each other and the planet, one rental at a time.

You can read more about how Y’earn works here.

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Y'earn Baby & Kids

Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people and small businesses in your community or make some cash if you have items you don't need right now. We plant 🌲 and adopt 🐝, plus give to children’s charities.

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